November 13, 2013 4th Circuit published opinion

United States v Hunter

Hunter pled guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon. He objected to an enhanced sentence arguing his juvenile convictions could not be used based on United States Supreme Court precedent declaring children different than adults for sentencing purposes. The district court overruled his objection and sentenced him as a career criminal to 17 years in prison. The panel affirmed. It agreed that the United States Supreme Court has declared children constitutionally different for sentencing purposes based on their immaturity and greater capacity for rehabilitation. The panel held that this was irrelevant to Hunter’s sentence as he was being sentenced for an act committed when he was 33 and none of the punishment was for acts committed as juvenile. The panel noted that it joined with the 10th and 11th Circuits in so holding.

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